I have a full post brewing on this topic, but for now here's a great article from BlackCommentator.com talking about the corporate media's power to unfairly derail anyone whose opinions vary too far from theirs.
Dean was stripped of half his popular support in the space of two weeks in January while John Kerry – tied in the polls with Carol Moseley-Braun at seven percent just two months earlier – rose like a genie from a bottle to become the overnight presidential frontrunner. Both candidates were shocked and disoriented by the dizzying turns of fortune, and for good reason. Neither Dean nor Kerry had done anything on their own that could have so dramatically altered the race. Corporate America decided that Dean must be savaged, and its media sector made it happen.
The author also tackles the "electability" issue that the press uses to discount candidates like Dean:
Howard Dean’s brilliant use of the Internet allowed him to capitalize on anti-war sentiment while assembling a funding base independent of the usual corporate suspects. Dean’s December surge took the corporate media by surprise, alarming the bosses and their friends in the White House. Like a Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the corporate media rose with one voice to question Dean’s “electability.” It is important to note that in mid-December, according to Newsweek’s poll, Dean, Kerry and Clark were doing equally in a match-up with George Bush, at 40, 41, and 41 percent, respectively. There was no statistical basis to single out Dean as unelectable. Dean had just gotten the endorsement of Al Gore and two of the nation’s most important unions, AFSCME and SEIU. No matter. The corporate media has the power of self-fulfilling prophesy, and they know it. Negative impressions rained down on Dean like a monsoon, and didn’t let up even after the damage was done. Dean was tagged by the media as a loser to Bush well before he let out “The Scream” – an innocuous, non-event, on the night of his Iowa defeat.
Dean understands what was done to him, although there’s nothing much he can do about it. In an interview with CNN’s repugnant Wolf Blitzer, the candidate said: “You report the news and you create the news… You chose to play it [“The Scream”] 673 times.”
The whole article is well worth reading. Check it out.